In this imaginative production by Willy Decker, Paul was strongly sung by Stephen Gould, and Marie/Marietta by Nadja Michael, who did a superb job of the part, teasingly sexy, both as girlfriend and among her acting troupe
Monthly Archives: January 2009
The failure of Britten’s composition might have been alleviated by the production team, led by Justin Way, but the deliberately ham acting and garish costumes were over the top, and the production did not fit the style of Britten’s music.
The best thing about this performance was the beautiful singing of Stephanie Blythe as Orfeo, and the conducting of Gluck’s wonderful music by James Levine.
La Rondine hovers uneasily between opera and operetta … a lively courtesan wants to see what true romance is really like, so she falls in love; but being unable to explain her history to her lover, she reluctantly returns to her life as a courtesan. It’s a wonderful vehicle for the soprano, and Angela Gheorghiu sang the main role of Magda beautifully, looking and acting the part to perfection.
Renee Fleming was Thaïs, and Thomas Hampson was Athanaël. They were wonderful — she was glorious as a great courtesan, and as a convent sister in the desert, while he gave a strong portrayal of a repressed fundamentalist Christian, struggling to contain his own desires.